The Throne Belongs to Herrin

An interesting start promises another amazing football season.


Photography, Makay Russell

Cameron Damico (12) points to the student section after a phenomenal touchdown against Carterville.

High School Football is now in full swing, and the Tigers are off to a good start to the season. The Football Team started the season away against the Waterloo Bulldogs. Before the game, both teams honored fallen police officer, Nicholas Hopkins. Both teams walked out with flags to honor the fallen officer. The Herrin players and coaches also wore stickers to honor trooper Hopkins. 


After the pregame celebration, Herrin kicked off to Waterloo to start the game, and the season was on. The Bulldogs took over quick, scoring on their second drive of the game. They then scored on a 2-point conversion. After a field goal and another touchdown, weather made its way into the area, stopping the game for two and a half hours. When the teams came back, neither could score before the end of the first half. However, when the second half came around, Herrin looked like a completely different team. They scored two touchdowns, including an 80 yard touchdown pass to senior Brandon Anthony. Just like that, Herrin was back in the game. But Waterloo never backed down, and scored twenty more points in the second half. The Tigers would lose the first game of the season.


Week 2 was the game that everyone was most excited for. This was the week the Football Team took on their rivals, the Carterville Lions. There was plenty of smack talk coming into this game, and it all came down to Friday night. At first, it seemed Carterville would take this game, picking off senior Chance Karnes on the second play of the game. However, Herrin’s defense was too strong for Carterville. The game would remain scoreless until the second quarter, when Herrin recovered a bad snap in the endzone. But Carterville kept coming, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal before halftime. After halftime, the game belonged to Herrin, picking off Carterville early, then scoring two touchdowns to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Then, Carterville threw a 40 yard touchdown pass, and took a three point lead with 1 minute 50 seconds left in the game. Herrin didn’t back down, and drove down the field with two great catches from seniors Jake Baumgarte and Reice Hartline. Then, with 12 seconds left in the game, Karnes dropped back, rolled out, and completed the game-winning pass to senior Cameron Damico. The crowd went crazy. It was the perfect ending to an amazing game.


After the week 2 game, Damico and Anthony sat down to talk about the season so far, their last season at HHS, and what this rivalry with Carterville means to them. When it comes to the season so far, Damico says, “ We have come together as a team and I think we will be very dominant the rest of the season.” Anthony answer with “I think we’ll finish the season strong. There’s a lot of seniors and we put in a lot of hard work over summer break and wanna go out champions.” 


When it comes to rivals, Damico sees Carterville as the primary target. “Carterville is the biggest game of the year,” Damico said. “[It’s] one we have to win.” However, Anthony had an interesting answer. “This year, everyones our rival,” Anthony said. “Herrin versus Everybody.” 


Finally, the two talked about their last season in high school. “It’s kind of emotional because I’ve been going to school with my friends and my classmates for my whole life now, “ says Anthony. “It hasn’t really sunk in with me that I’m going to be a college freshman in a couple months.” Damico talked mainly about the football program, saying “It’s going to be very sad not being a part of the program and not getting to play with the kids I grew up with.”


After two weeks of High School Football, Herrin is at a 1-1 record, but have looked great in both games. Some stats that really stick out are Karnes with 169 rushing yards and 263 passing yards, Damico with 131 rushing yards, and Anthony with 135 receiving yards. As for how the Tigers want to finish the season, Anthony put it best. “Go out a champ.” The Tigers’ next game is at home on Friday against Benton. Come in your favorite Hawaiian apparel and support the varsity football team on September 20th!

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